Full Recap: 2019 WGI Guard World Class Finals

The best World Class guards in the world gathered in Dayton, OH, this week, for the 2019 WGI Guard World Championships to see who would claim the honor of being a World Class Finalist. On Saturday, April 6th, they got their answer.

Let's see who made the grade:


Scholastic World:

In Scholastic World, 15 guards advanced out of Friday's Semi-Finals competition to compete in Saturday's 2019 WGI Guard Scholastic World Class Finals at the UD Arena. There was a pretty decent upset involving Carmel, West Broward, and Center Grove HS. Additionally, both Flanagan and Lyman HS were assessed a 0.2-point penalty that impacted their finals scores (but not their placements). This likely has to do with setup/teardown time, given the large number of props and set pieces both schools utilized in their show.

Let's see what changed between Semis and Finals:

 

Semi-FinalsChangeFinals
PlacementUnitScorePlacementUnitScore
15Bellbrook HS (Bellbrook, OH)82.900=15Bellbrook HS (Bellbrook, OH)82.800
14Northview HS (Brazil, IN)84.00014th -> 13th14The Woodlands HS (The Woodlands, TX)82.900
13The Woodlands HS (The Woodlands, TX)84.20013th -> 14th13Northview HS (Brazil, IN)84.150
12Stoneman Douglas HS (Parkland, FL)85.300=12Stoneman Douglas HS (Parkland, FL)85.200
11Warren Central HS (Indianapolis, IN)87.00011th -> 10th11Shenendehowa HS (Clifton Park, NY)86.300
10Shenendehowa HS (Clifton Park, NY)87.50010th -> 11th10Warren Central HS (Indianapolis, IN)87.750
9Flanagan HS (Pembroke Pines, FL)89.000=9Flanagan HS (Pembroke Pines, FL)89.750
8Lyman HS (Longwood, FL)89.200=8Lyman HS (Longwood, FL)90.350
7Norwin HS (North Huntingdon, PA)90.200=7Norwin HS (North Huntingdon, PA)90.900
6Miamisburg HS (Miamisburg, OH)92.8006th -> 5th6Trumbull HS (Trumbull, CT)92.650
5Trumbull HS (Trumbull, CT)93.0005th -> 6th5Miamisburg HS (Miamisburg, OH)93.750
4Carmel HS (Carmel, IN)94.2004th -> 2nd4West Broward HS (Pembroke Pines, FL)95.500
2Center Grove HS (Greenwood, IN)95.1002nd -> 3rd3Center Grove HS (Greenwood, IN)95.850
2West Broward HS (Pembroke Pines, FL)95.1002nd -> 4th2Carmel HS (Carmel, IN)96.100
1Avon HS (Avon, IN)98.000=1Avon HS (Avon, IN)98.950


Coming in 3rd Place, with a score of 95.850, was Center Grove HS with their program, "Finding Peace." Center Grove came into Finals tied for 2nd Place with West Broward HS, but ultimately wound up taking home the bronze medal. Center Grove's program made very smart use of color theory, expertly juxtaposing black with various vibrating neon colors - electric blue, neon yellow, and a neon red.

These performers move just beautifully, both with and without their equipment. In a show entirely about execution, control, and nuance, Center Grove's superb training in both body and equipment shone through as they accomplished every feat with aplomb.

Check out their program, below:


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In 2nd Place, with a score of 96.100, came Carmel HS with their program, "A Lot of Strength Left." Carmel's program had a neatly designed floor featuring a broken glass ceiling with staircases coming out of the breaks symbolizing women's breaking through the glass ceiling and rising to positions of power generally held by men.

Carmel came into Finals in 4th Place, but had an amazing Finals run, allowing them to jump over both West Broward and Center Grove. Check out their Finals run, below:


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Finally, in 1st Place, with an amazing score of 98.950, was Avon HS with their program, "O' Night Divine." I've spent the entire season singing the praises of this guard and show - their maturity is just...levels above anything I've seen out of Scholastic World in recent memory. These performers spin, move, and perform like an Independent World guard. I kept likening them to Pride of Cincinnati, all season, but even in Finals, Avon scored higher than Pride.

The show really has to be seen to be believed, so please check it out, below:


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WGI Fans voted West Broward HS to be the 2019 WGI Scholastic World Class Fans' Favorite with their program, "Midnight Radio." This show has a personal connection, for me, having played Hedwig in a local theatre production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch in Knoxville, TN back in 2004. Singing Midnight Radio was always one of my favorite parts of those performances, so, when I heard that my friends at West Broward were performing that song, I lost my mind with excitement.

West Broward, as the fans have shown, did not disappoint. The song is played at 49 Beats Per Minute (BPM), and West Broward made the bold choice to juxtapose that tempo with incredibly high-paced equipment work, drill, and movement. They also did a ROCKIN' pre-show performing small vignettes to classic rock songs.

I can't say enough good things about their Finals performance, so give it a whirl on your 45, below:


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A 45 is a record, for you youngsters, out there...


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Independent World:

In Independent World, 15 of the best guards in World Class advanced out of Friday's Semi-Finals to compete in Saturday's World Class Finals contest. The largest jumps and falls of the night occurred between AMP, who leapt from 10th place coming out of Semi-Finals, to 7th after Finals, and Bluecoats Indoor, who, after being assessed a 1.4-point penalty, dropped from 7th coming out of Semi-Finals, to 9th after the penalty. Without said penalty, Bluecoats would've scored a 91.800, leaving them in 7th Place. A 0.1-point penalty was also assessed to Pride of Cincinnati, but did not impact their placement.

Because we haven't made full videos of Finals performances available, yet, this recap includes high cam angles of the medalist and Fans' Favorite guards' Semi-Finals performances.

 

Semi-FinalsChangeFinals
PlacementUnitScorePlacementUnitScore
15Mayflower (United Kingdom)86.500=15Mayflower (United Kingdom)83.850
14Lexis (Lexington, KY)86.900=14Lexis (Lexington, KY)84.400
13Black Gold (Dallas/Ft.Worth , TX)88.200=13Black Gold (Dallas/Ft.Worth , TX)86.450
12CGT Denton (Denton, TX)89.20012th -> 11th12Fantasia (Riverside, CA)87.350
11Fantasia (Riverside, CA)89.40011th -> 12th11CGT Denton (Denton, TX)88.350
10AMP Winter Guard (Camden, NJ)90.10010th -> 7th10Onyx (Dayton, OH)88.750
9Onyx (Dayton, OH)90.6009th -> 10th9Bluecoats Indoor (Indianapolis, IN)90.400
8CGT Dallas (Dallas, TX)91.400=8CGT Dallas (Dallas, TX)90.700
7Bluecoats Indoor (Indianapolis, IN)92.8007th -> 9th7AMP Winter Guard (Camden, NJ)90.750
6Etude (Rock Hill, SC)93.100=6Etude (Rock Hill, SC)92.900
5Blessed Sacrament (Cambridge, MA)94.500=5Blessed Sacrament (Cambridge, MA)93.950
4Imbue (Modesto, CA)95.400=4Imbue (Modesto, CA)95.200
3Diamante (Anaheim, CA)95.700=3Diamante (Anaheim, CA)96.100
2Paramount (Atlanta, GA)96.200=2Paramount (Atlanta, GA)96.150
1Pride of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)97.400=1Pride of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)98.250


In 3rd Place, with a score of 96.100, Diamante left us speechless with their breathtaking performance, "If it's Meant to Be..." When I first saw this program at the Riverside Regional in early-February, I knew this show was something special. Featuring a minimalist approach to design focused on balancing performers - both literally and figuratively - on opposing sides of the floor, the show tells a poignant story about two people who have fallen in love, but whose love may or may not result in their union.

Things to watch in this show are the amazing attention to detail and precision in the movement book, the outstanding weapon technique, an amazing full-guard ensemble rifle six near the end of the program, and an astounding rifle partner feature where the rifles literally carry another member on their backs for over a minute of the program...WHILE spinning.

Check out the video from Semi-Finals, below:


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In 2nd Place, with a score of 96.150, came Paramount with their program, "The Elusive Horizon." Paramount's show made excellent use of strong staging, intricate and nuanced musical writing, and phenomenal training and execution. My favorite moments include introduction of the flag line in the back-left corner of the floor and the ensemble flag statement at the end, both of which include incredible flag writing, full of breath, weft, and waft as the performers respond delicately to the music.

Check out their Semi-Finals run, below:


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In 1st Place, with a score of 98.250, Pride of Cincinnati took home the gold with their program, "Another Door Opens." I love a show that utilizes their props, and in this respect, Pride really went above and beyond. What first appear to be ramps turn out to be a series of doors coming out of the floor that serve to introduce, and then hide, performers, equipment, and serve as slides, ramps, and platforms upon which the performers spin their tale. Set to the music of Son Lux, Pride's program really does feature some of the best trained guard performers in the industry. Individually, each performer is supremely talented in movement and equipment, and those qualities shine throughout the show.

Check out their Semi-Finals run, below:


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WGI fans selected AMP Winter Guard as the 2019 WGI World Class Fans' Favorite with their program, "Immortalis Maledictum," a fantastically entertaining romp through the world of vampirism replete with capes, a vampire conversion, and death by sunlight. AMP has always had fantastically entertaining performances and equipment writing that leaves audiences begging for more, and this year's show was no exception.

This was AMP's third time being selected as Fans' Favorite, including 2016 and 2017 in Independent Open Class.

Get bitten and smitten with their Semi-Finals run, below:


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